My experiments with gardening

Trying to grow a garden and get rid of the tag 'plant killer'

Progress and my other ‘kills’ December 31, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — SDJ @ 12:54 pm


Beautiful true leaves showing here

Cucumber seedlings are showing nice progress. Pretty soon I might have to introduce support for their vines. And also…the graveyard pot has come to life here with 4 cucumber seedlings.

Cherry tomato seedling with the true leaves

The cherry tomato seedling is also showing its true leaves.

Spinach seedlings are showing true leaves.

Out of some 20-25 seeds sowed in there..Only one germinated

Brinjal is going to show true leaves next week.

Cicoria seedlings are showing true leaves.

2 of the cosmos géant seedlings survived my touch.

My kills:

I killed parsley in repotting. I read online that parsley has a long tap root and it needs a deep pot. My pot was some 4 inches deep so I tried to repot it into a deep one and it died.

I killed all of my okra plants after transplantation. The ones in the yoghurt cup are the only ones alive because ‘I did not touch them’.

Most of my basil seedlings have died in transplantation. One or two might survive but you never know.

All 3 of my mini sunflower seedlings died in transplantation. Sowed the seeds again in soil mix this time to avoid transplantation.

All of my dianthus seedlings died again in transplantation. Again sowed the seeds in soil mix to avoid yes…the transplantation.

My Jalapeño pepper plant died. It just succumbed and I don’t know what happened.


I kill more than I grow and I wonder how I’m helping the global warming cause!

Anyway.. Happy new year everyone! I hope we all stick to our resolutions.. which brings me here..

Gardening Resolutions for the new year:

Grow Rosemary, Thyme and Mint from cuttings.

Reduce the gardening expenses by finding someplace to get soil without spending money on soil packets.

Try to be organic as much as possible and to spray less.


Start composting because it reduces waste and expenses. I can use the compost as the soil mix for plants.


I cannot think of anything else…I will update as and when I think of anything.


Photo updates December 22, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — SDJ @ 10:46 pm

Even the yoghurt cup has Okra. Brinjal on the extreme right


Sometimes I feel like hiring someone to write the blog exactly how I want to… in the sense half of the time my captions for photo go away somewhere.. I type them but they are not visible. I don’t know how to bring them back. Frankly, I am supposed to know all this.  ‘UI’ expert for god’s sake!


Seedlings galore! December 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — SDJ @ 8:15 pm

My my my how many seedlings have I..

I had sowed nearly 10 types of seeds. Basil, cosmos géant, dianthus, mini sunflower, okra, brinjal, cucumber, parsley, lettuce(I know.. I’ll never learn) and aboli(also called kanakambaram in telugu).

Cucumber seeds were the first ones to sprout. They were already 6cm tall by 2nd day and I had to transplant them immediately.. I wonder how many of them will produce cucumbers to eat.

It rained I think some 17 seedlings

Everything has sprouted except for lettuce(no surprise there!), parsley and aboli. I have read that parsley takes 21 days for sprouting so we have a long wait ahead.


The challenge now is transplant all of these seedlings into pots and see them make it.

I think December is the time to sprout anything in Mumbai. I have so many coriander sprouts which I planted so many months ago.

Coriander seedlings in Aloe vera's pot. 7 of them.

In some pots I have some 7 seedlings of spinach and I think half of them might be thyme because that pot had thyme seeds earlier.

Now will have to buy containers of many sizes to hold all of these seedlings. My husband thinks I’m crazy. Tell me something I don’t know!


Purchases and what not! December 16, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — SDJ @ 5:31 pm

I went to the supposed ‘mecca’ of gardening here in Mumbai and it left a bad taste in my mouth. I will not say never but I’ll try and get my supplies elsewhere! It cheap to get seeds from Punjab rather than going to a part of mumbai which is on different railway line than yours.  The lady of the shop which we will call R**** for now was a matron from hell. Anyway I do not wish to continue this train of thought.

So,  here is the list of major things I got.

4 different types of flower seeds, seedling tray(a big one this time),  fertilizer for flowering, plant starter(some hormone to make your seedling grow in well) etc

I sowed 10 different types of seeds today. I know it is way too much but with the kind of germination rate I have I’m sure it is ok! I can see a ‘spinach’ seedling coming on… woohoo

Fertilized my flowering plants so I hope they bloom. My cherry tomato seedling and cicoria got the plant starter so I am hoping for wonders.

The ‘bugging’ news is I caught 3 leaf chewing small snakey kind of bugs. They did not look like caterpillars because they were not crawling. They were hanging down from the leaves. Thinking of the feel of them on my hand makes me shrivel with disgust. It was the worst part of my gardening experience till now. I killed them by dumping them in water. Also caught a white fluffy kind of bug on my hibiscus so I guess I am keeping up with these guys.

This makes you realize that having plants is like having pets except they dont pee or poo in your apartment. You look for signs of illness because they dont talk. Wash them weekly. Feed them and water them. Keep checking on them and look for signs of distress. You worry about them when you are going on a vacation(Where to keep them). Now you get the drift…


Taking stock! December 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — SDJ @ 9:22 pm

I have read all my old posts and made a list of all seeds I sowed. Let me tell you it is pathetic. I have planted Chinese cabbge, Thyme(twice), Tomato, methi, capsicum, chives(twice), spinach(twice), brinjal and basil. All of them failed!

There might be hope for spinach, brinjal and basil but I have no hope for others.

The cicoria seedling is still small.. I wish it gives more leaves soon.

I planted brinjal and spinach seeds today. I have left them open and did not cover with plastic. Let’s see.

The three tomato seedlings.. I am worried..2 of them are showing signs of giving up.

I have to get flowering plants and some nitrogen rich fertilizer for spinach and cicoria. I will post some photos pretty soon.

The good news is I have 5 small coriander seedlings with good improvement. I think ‘Ignorance’ is the key here. If I ignore my plants they thrive. Apparently too much attention kills or rather too much of MY attention kills anything!


Seeds seeds and more seeds! December 12, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — SDJ @ 6:58 pm

I have sowed some more seeds of chives, spinach and basil. I know I’ve a basil plant but I sowed them anyway.

My cicora seedling has sprouted.. yippee! It is really beautiful. Now is the toughest time for both of us. It has to battle Mumbai and it’s weather.

I have transplanted my tomato seedlings and let’s see how they fare. They are very young to transplant but what to do…I had 3 of them in one slot and they were very leggy so had to transplant them.

I have a feeling that the oregano plant is not oregano at all…It smells funny and it is not ground hugging as oregano is supposed to be…

I think this calls for a trip to the nursery…

The pests which I reported earlier…I do not see after neem spray. I hope it stays that way.



Disheartened but still going on.. December 9, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — SDJ @ 2:34 pm

I have not post anything because I was depressed about the condition of my plants..

Spidermites on Spinach and hibiscus(very difficult to get rid of them on this plant). They were on holy basil too but got rid of them with help of neem and insecticide

Whiteflies on Jalapeño and chilli plant. Spotted them just yesterday. I think those were the reasons why jalapeño was just hanging in there..

Aphids on curry leaf plant. Earlier I pruned all the branches and new leaves that had aphids and some brownish flies. They came back. I have some kind of spotting on few leaves as well.

All of this depressed me so much that I felt what is point. I read so many blogs and books on gardening. Everyone seems to grow so much stuff but I ate few curry leaves from my plant and nothing else..

But..the new day came with some hope. I potted the oregano. The cherry tomato seedling is out and I might get another seedling as well. I sprayed neemastra on all the plants with pests.

I planted some capsicum and chive seeds. The other seeds which are still to sprout are thyme, cicoria and methi.

So what if  I am unable to harvest anything(as of now..) or grow much..  I am tending to many plants in various stages.. I have few plants which are not giving up on me..Basil, oregano, holy basil, parsley, aloe vera and a white flower plant. I have spent a lot of money on all the material for gardening. I might be able to go ahead with the experiments for many more months so I will just wait for things to perk up. If  not anything..they are purifying the air at my home.

I think I will have to get dill or fennel and few flowering plants so that they attract beneficial insects to eat up the pests. It seems a mixed garden is the way to go to avoid pests.

I have planted a few more mint cuttings..

Never give up!